May 12, 2019
First Bossier Family,
The following is our latest Rebuild Update with some points of interest and picture elevations of new facilities. While some design elements are subject to change this can give you a strong vision of where we are going in our Rebuild efforts.
I want to remind all of us to thank God for His many blessings upon our church in light of this tragic fire that took place on December 10, 2018:
- No loss of life. I want us to thank our Fire Fighters, Police and First Responders.
- Giving has been incredibly strong.
- New ministries have begun.
- Our Small Groups have not folded even though they have had to be very flexible.
- We have baptized numerous individuals this Spring and almost 40 people have joined our church.
- Our Building Team has served with incredible capacity. I want to commend our Building Team: Chairman Jeff Raley, Todd Littleton, Alex Dempsey, Jeff Loftin, and Pam Beck. They have served with an incredible positive attitude and willingness to dream big for God and to do what’s best for First Bossier today and tomorrow. Please stand and thank them.
- God has given us a tremendous Builder-Architect Team combination. They have worked and will continue to work with vision, creativity, and discipline. Thank you to the Brown Builder Company and the Architect Teams of Somdal and Sutton, Beebe and Babin.
Here are some of the principles and guidelines of thought that our Building Team has filtered all of our decisions through:
- We lost about 100k square feet of space.
- But our team began to ask do we really need to rebuild that much space for effective ministry?
- The more space you build the more it will cost. More you have to pay in heating, cooling, upkeep.
- We want to maximize the space and money we have and plan to use.
- We want to rebuild in such a way that the flow and cohesiveness are very smooth for members and guests, security is maximized, and that our buildings communicate families, warmth, life and relationships.
- We are looking to rebuild approx. 65k square feet and upgrade our children’s facilities and our worship center seating space.
Let’s talk Children’s Ministry first. Tinytown is a Cadillac facility. And as we looked at our overall children’s ministry we began to evaluate every aspect. What we’ve determined is that:
- Now is the time to unify our Children’s ministry. In other words, instead of things being so divided by FB Kids and Tiny Town when we speak to guests and our community about children’s ministry we want to speak with one voice.
- After meeting with both Kelly Cathy and Betty Perdue we are excited to announce that on Promotion Sunday August 11th we will launch FirstKids. Our Student Ministry is called FirstStudents with both middle school and high school and so this streamlines our ministries better.
- In addition to the new name we began to look at the 40k square feet of space that currently Tiny Town occupies. And as we looked at numbers in both preschool and Elementary ages we looked at space and believe we can turn this Cadillac facility into a Ferrari for our entire First Kids experience.
- We are planning to make the entire first floor of Tinytown all Preschool. We are planning to make the entire second (top) floor Elementary age kids small group space and worship space. We can move all our kids into this facility and still have room to almost double in size for kids. That’s how much space is there.
- We are meeting with the design part of the architect teams now and are planning to have a new paint design, flooring, and upgrades to worship spaces for kids. On Summer Survivor Sunday in June we plan to show the new First Kids logo and design for the facility.
- We also plan to add a 5k Square Foot addition to the side of Tinytown that faces Freedom Fields that will be new kids worship space, storage and resource space. Entrance C will still serve as an entry for worship but will be redesigned to be a major entry point for families to First Kids.
- This will be a very exciting upgrade and expansion. While we believe we can do the painting, flooring and worship space upgrades by August 11 the expansion at the end of the facility won’t begin until this fall sometime. We still have to design it.
- Another really cool step that we plan to take on August 11 is that because we will be moving all our kids into the Tiny Town facility it will then free-up the upstairs rooms of the current 400 hall. Right now adult small groups are on the lower level and kids are upstairs. But we can move most if not all of our small groups onto our campus and 400 hall can be used for adult small group space. There might be a group or two that we need to still accommodate but it would be awesome to have most everyone, if not everyone, back on our campus going into the fall as we begin to rebuild our new facilities.
- 400 hall is a building that we will lean on as long as we need to but it is probably not a long-term building for the future of our campus for a variety of reasons. But for the next few years we will lean on it as much as we need to.
- I want to thank both Betty Purdue and Kelly Cathy and their teams for being so flexible, creative and passionate for ministry as we move forward.
- We are adding extension to the side near entrance B with Administrative Offices. Due to the fire we lost over 17 offices. We’ve gotten very creative in how we’ve maximized current space but there is still need to build back some. And having this space near current office space will allow us to expand offices and build community among our team since our offices won’t be scattered across the campus.
- As we move around to the front of the campus we plan to build our Foyer/Multi event space. This is an awesome new addition to our campus that gives us dynamic space for gathering each week. Additionally:
- It will give us space for our events like our Vertical Leadership Lunch, Women’s Souree, overflow days like on Easter or Honor Our Heroes, as well as additional small group space.
- It will also house our new coffee shop that we plan to open daily and be a great connecting spot for people to pray, visit, build relationships.
- Will have covered drop-offs.
- The new chapel will be a special venue. Will be more traditional but with some modern elements. Great venue for weddings, special events and funerals.
- Also a great small group space for some of our larger classes.
- It is also a great venue for special equipping events like finances, marriage, and parenting that we will offer throughout the year.
- We are talking with architect team about how to creatively display the pulpit, the bible and a piece of the steeple.
- Our new First Students facility will be a very creative and dynamic space that middle school and high school students will be able to worship and connect in.
- Worship space
- Small group space
- Hang out space
- Will have room outside of facility for outdoor connecting events
- Will also be space that other gatherings the church may need from time to time.
- But we will still have the Gathering Place to use in the future where the student space will not always be the go-to space for that medium sized gathering.
- This design is still being drawn up. But very exciting and I’m so thankful for Ian and his team for being so creative and flexible with their ministry space and connection needs.
Overall Campus Vision:
- New Adult Small Group Space will be new multi-room, multi-use space for helping us with connecting people in small groups. This facility will not have rooms for every new group due to everything else we are having to build.
- This is why we will lean on the 400 wing for a while.
- It’s why we will still need to use space like the new chapel space, my conference room, the foyer space, etc.
- It’s also why we may need to go to a second service in the future.
- Most churches are not building large worship centers like we have. They are building smaller worship centers (like around a 1,000 seats) and offering multiple services.
- This maximizes your space (small group space doubles).
- It allows your volunteers to really connect in worship service.
- It allows your volunteers to really connect with a small group.
- It allows families some options for when they attend service.
- We are looking to upgrade our seating and the arrangement in our worship service for when we go to a second service one day. Also, by adding a center aisle and redesigning our seating it will allow us to maximize our worship center in a better way.
- When we talk about two services one day it will be the same service. We are First Bossier. We may do some satellite venues one day but on our campus we will do what we can to build unity.
Right now we are looking to launch First Kids in August, and continue to develop our buildable plans for the new offices, foyer expansion, chapel, student facility, small group facility and we are planning and praying that we can do all of that with the money we receive from Insurance settlement.
God is leading us to move forward by faith. What a moment. And the story God is writing is one we all can share and as we share we can give Him all the glory!
Pastor Brad Jurkovich